Nasty (The Young Ones)

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"Nasty"
The Young Ones episode
Episode no. Series 2
Episode 3
Directed by Paul Jackson
Written by Ben Elton, Rik Mayall and Lise Mayer
Produced by Paul Jackson
Featured music Peter Brewis
Original air date 29 May 1984
Running time 34:56
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Cash"
Next →
"Time"

"Nasty" was the ninth episode of British sitcom The Young Ones. It was written by Ben Elton, Rik Mayall and Lise Mayer, and directed by Paul Jackson. It was first aired on BBC Two on 29 May 1984.[1]

Plot[edit]

The show begins with a man playing chess against Death. After losing to the man, Death declares "Bollocks to this!" and attacks the man with his scythe. The horror movie-themed opening credits are followed by Mike, Rick, Vyvyan and Neil carrying a coffin through a local cemetery (except Mike, who has his hand up but is not touching the coffin). The coffin is brought to a freshly-dug grave where a passing woman asks a spade-holding Neil if he digs graves, to which Neil replies, "Yeah, they're all right." After encountering a drunken vicar and two gravediggers, the show then takes a flashback to events leading up to the burial. It's bath night, and while Neil jumps into the muddy bathwater used in the three others' previous baths (inadvertently finding his long-lost bicycle in the process), Rick locks himself in his room & gets on his bed for a sneaky read of Cosmopolitan - only to get nearly cut in half by Vyvyan's cleverly placed circular saw. Mike and Vyvyan spend the time trying to set up the new video machine they have secured in order to watch a video nasty. A scene-stealing postman then arrives to deliver a human-shaped package from the Transvaal. After falling out of the bathroom window and having his bedroom boarded up, Neil arrives downstairs wearing a dress he found in Rick's room (with Rick's name tagged in the back). Neil briefly gets the video machine to work (by plugging it in and the trio didn't know how to get work properly), and the group is shown a commercial for a women's pain reliever set in Hell.

After the video stops working again, the package delivered earlier has opened. This turns out to be a vampire, who disguises himself as a driving instructor from Johannesburg. He gets caught out by one of Vyvyan's Highway Code questions - what to do when crossing a humpback bridge. When the four realise that vampires only attack virgins, it leads to them all unconvincingly denying their sexual purity. However, they are saved by the clock, as the sunlight streaming through the window hits the vampire, who despairs at having his wristwatch still set to South African time - and they manage to wrap him up in their handy red dual-purpose sofa-coffin. The scene flash-forwards back to the graveyard, where Mike realizes its half-past nine. The vampire then comes out from a now white sofa-coffin and turns out to be Harry the Bastard (Harry Ashby), an employee from Rumbelows from whom they rented the video. Harry quickly announces that their deadline for returning the video had just elapsed and that they owe him ₤500 in late fees. As the closing line of the episode, the entire gang at the grave site turn to the camera and say, "Well, what a complete bastard!" The closing credits play over Death and the man from the chess match (who is now a ghost) arguing at a golf hole.

Characters[edit]

As with all episodes of The Young Ones, the main four characters were student flatmates Mike (Christopher Ryan); Vyvyan (Adrian Edmondson); Rick (Rik Mayall) and Neil (Nigel Planer). Alexei Sayle starred as a South African vampire and driving instructor. Monty Python alumnus Terry Jones makes a cameo as a drunken vicar and comedy duo Hale & Pace appear as a pair of gravediggers that the lads tell their story to. Arnold Brown appears as the man in the opening scene playing chess against Death.

Cultural references[edit]

The opening scene of a man playing chess with Death is a reference to Ingmar Bergman's 1957 film, The Seventh Seal. At the grave site when the vicar says "Ashes to ashes," Rick responds with "Funk to funky, we all know Major Tom's a junkie", referencing lyrics from the David Bowie song 'Ashes to Ashes'. Later in the episode, Rick proclaims to Neil that the bathroom is free "unlike the country" and refers to Britain as a "Thatcherite Junta". Rik also appears to gain sexual gratification from looking at a copy of Cosmopolitan. Alexei Sayle's character in a monologue about being a Marxist comedian, complains that while his comrades are selling the Socialist Worker, he has to sell the TV Times. Sayle continues his monologue to reassure his comrades that he has not "sold out", then proceeds to do an advertisement for Pot Noodle. The episode also features punk band The Damned, performing Nasty, a song written especially for the episode.

References[edit]

  1. ^ ""The Young Ones" Nasty (1984)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 1 May 2009. Original Air Date: 29 May 1984 (Season 2, Episode 9)